Do you know what a "squinting modifier" is? Read the quotation below and avoid squinting modifiers.
- A word capable of being read as modifying either the word it follows or the word it precedes is called a squinting modifier. Consider ambiguity this can produce:
- The candidate the audience was applauding enthusiastically went to the podium.
- The lawyer who can write well deserves her fee.
- The doctor agreed eventually to do the operation.
- My lawyer told me in August I would be released.
Was the audience applauding enthusiastically? Or was the candidate enthusiastically going to the podium?
Does "well" relate to her accomplishment or her entitlement?
Does this mean that the doctor took a long time to agree? Or does it mean that he agreed to do the operation at some uncertain future date?
Did the lawyer say that in August, or is August the projected date of release?